Category Archives: toiletries

My Favorite Cruelty Free Vanilla Perfumes

“Something smells like a cherry pop tart.”

This has actually been said around about me before. I was wearing a vanilla perfume oil at the time. I didn’t own up to my foody smelling self. And I’m still not sure if this remark was said in disgust or with pleasant surprise. But I was secretly pleased. You see, I’ve always had an affinity for smelling like a cherry pop tart…ok, maybe not a pop tart. But something sweet. Something that evokes comfort, snuggling and cozy sweaters and hoodies. Something vanilla.

cruelty free vanilla perfumes

Lush’s 25:43

I have a 0.3 oz atomizer spray of this stuff. From the website, it’s described as a citrusy perfume with notes of tonka, lime, lemongrass, vanilla, ylang-ylang and listsea (?). It’s all lemongrass-vanilla to me. It makes me think of slightly spiced lemon cookies. 25:43 is supposedly how long it took the creator took to make this yummy scent.

Pacifica Island Vanilla 

I have this in both the 1oz spray and the 8oz body lotion. It’s described as a blend of Tahitian vanilla absolute with honey-jasmine notes, a touch of fruitiness, and a base of tea. This is a vanilla with a lighter, airy-ier feel about it. To me, it’s like a creamy vanilla tea with the teensiest hint of floral. While I tend to wear vanilla mostly in cooler weather, I wear this year round.

Lush’s Vanillary (solid version)

I’ve had this ever since Lush introduced the solid version in little metal tins. I like this tube version because I can just push up a little and swipe it directly where I want it. Though it’s a tad awkward to have to push it back down with my fingers to get the lid on. Since it’s a soft wax, it will melt if left in the heat. This is a total foody scent and makes me think of a rich sweet vanilla toffee or decadent vanilla custard. I usually wear this at night before bed. It makes me feel like I’m sleeping in a sea of vanilla cupcakes.

 Lavanila Pure Vanilla Roller Ball

This is the most simple of the bunch. It has notes of Madagascar vanilla, freesia and heliotrope (florals). To me it is just a nice, clean vanilla bean scent. It’s not a desserty vanilla and it’s not a perfume-y vanilla (none of these are perfume-y in the traditional sense to me). It’s just a lovely vanilla. Pure and simple.

 

What I love about all of these vanilla perfumes is that they are not in yo face vanilla. They are subtle and more natural feeling than highly synthetic perfumes which make my nose itch and give me a headache. They fade with time on me but all of them linger nicely, close to the skin. Which is good because I don’t want people to smell me when I walk in a room because I wear scents mostly for myself and not other people.

Do you wear fragrance? What are your favorite cruelty-free fragrances?

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Friday Favorites

It’s finally Friday! I’m gonna share some things I have been digging lately that have brought me bits of pleasure during “the week that lasted forever” (aka the week before spring break).

I’ve used Dr. Bronner’s All-One soaps on and off for years, but find the scented ones too drying. I picked up the mild, unscented version recently to see if it is less drying. I’ve been using it as a body and face wash and so far so good! Non-drying and no breakouts on mah face!

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I have a problem with lip balms. I’m addicted to them. But I don’t wanna not be addicted to them…wait, what? I got these new flavors a week ago when Crazy Rumors had a 20% sale. My favorite flavor of the bunch is the chocolate strawberry followed by the red hibiscus. I have made a pact with myself to not buy anymore until I finish a couple of tubes, which is making me rub them on my lips like crazy because I want to try this brand next!

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I have been loving and craving all the Asian foods lately. One day, I will make my Asian meals from scratch like Hannah from Bittersweet, but until then I raid all the pre-made stuff at my local Asian market.

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Clockwise: Yeo’s soy milk, ramen noodles with some vegan fish chunks and green onions, sweet chili sauce, vegan gyoza.

In music, I recently discovered Florence + the Machine and have been listening to them non-stop. I’m a big fan of strong lady vocals.

My favorite quote…”ain’t nobody got time for dat!” by Sweet Brown.

This quote has really helped me manage my time this week. For instance, when I thought I should stay late at work to grade papers, I thought “ain’t nobody got time for dat!”. And when N suggested I clean up all the files on my computer to make it stop acting so buggy, “ain’t nobody got time for dat!”.  I’m sure next week when I think about all the things I should be doing instead of having fun, this quote will save me from wasting my life away because “ain’t nobody got time for dat!”.

Happy Friday!

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For the Ladies Only! Seriously. This is About Menstrual Cups.

On average, a woman can use as many as 16,800 tampons during her lifetime (source). According to the US Census Bureau, there are about 157 million females in the US. About 53% of that population is of the age where they are menstruating. This means, that over the next 40 or so years, landfills could acquire about 1,400,000,000,000 tampons.

To reduce my “tampon” footprint, I’ve been using a menstrual cup for the past 6 years. I recently had to purchase another because I lost my old one. I thought it would be a good time to post a picture of it before I used it because they do get stained and erm, I’m not sure I want a photo of that on the interwebs.

I use a Moon Cup made of silicone but there are other options. In fact, I found an entire blog dedicated to menstrual cups, though I don’t know whether all the cups listed are vegan.

Here’s what a brand new Moon Cup looks like. It comes with a reusable pouch to carry it in.

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It was scary the first time I used it, but once I got the hang of it, it was no big deal. The great thing about my Moon Cup, in addition to it being eco-friendly, is that I don’t have to empty it nearly as often as I have to change tampons. Depending on my flow, I can go up to 8 hours before changing it. According to the Moon Cup website, it can hold up to 3X the amount as a super plus tampon.

Here’s a snapshot of one way to insert it.

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My go-to method is the “punch and fold” as shown here.

shellfold

Image from Lunette Cups website (click on the picture for more insertion methods)

In addition to being a good steward for the environment, I’m saving money by using this. I also like the fact that I am not putting myself at risk for Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) and for me, the Moon Cup is more comfortable overall.

For the Ladies Only! Seriously.

On average, a woman can use as many as 16,800 tampons during her lifetime (source). According to the US Census Bureau, there are about 157 million females in the US. About 53% of that population is of the age where they are menstruating. This means, that over the next 40 or so years, landfills could acquire about 1,400,000,000,000 tampons.

To reduce my “tampon” footprint, I’ve been using a menstrual cup for the past 6 years. I recently had to purchase another because I lost my old one. I thought it would be a good time to post a picture of it before I used it because they do get stained and erm, I’m not sure I want a photo of that on the interwebs.

I use a Moon Cup made of silicone but there are other options. In fact, I found an entire blog dedicated to menstrual cups, though I don’t know whether all the cups listed are vegan.

Here’s what a brand new Moon Cup looks like. It comes with a reusable pouch to carry it in.

IMG_2716 _Snapseed

It was scary the first time I used it, but once I got the hang of it, it was no big deal. The great thing about my Moon Cup, in addition to it being eco-friendly, is that I don’t have to empty it nearly as often as I have to change tampons. Depending on my flow, I can go up to 8 hours before changing it. According to the Moon Cup website, it can hold up to 3X the amount as a super plus tampon.

Here’s a snapshot of one way to insert it.

IMG_2733 _Snapseed

My go-to method is the “punch and fold” as shown here.

shellfold

Image from Lunette Cups website (click on the picture for more insertion methods)

In addition to being a good steward for the environment, I’m saving money by using this. I also like the fact that I am not putting myself at risk for Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) and for me, the Moon Cup is more comfortable overall.

Homemade lotion

I’ve never been pleased with store-bought lotions.They have strange unpronounceable ingredients (even the so-called “natural” ones), they don’t moisturize enough and in some cases dry out my skin even more, and the vegan ones can be mucho dinero! If I can’t find a good vegan version of something, I usually try to make it my self.

I semi-make my own face cleanser, so lotion making didn’t seem too scary. Before starting my first batch, I did some research and found a few sites to get me started (PDF from Utah State, TeachSoap). In its most utilitarian state, lotion is just oil + water + an emulsifying agent to mix the two. The fun part is choosing what oils, butters and essential oils to use!

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Ingredients (for a small 4 oz jar):

All ingredients (except for the water) were bought from Mountain Rose Herbs and are mostly fair trade and organic. Ounces were measured on a kitchen scale with a “tare” option so I didn’t have to use an individual cup to measure out each thing.

Solids:

  • 0.2 oz emulsifying wax
  • 0.3 oz cocoa butter
  • 0.2 oz shea butter

Liquid oils:

  • 0.3 oz kukui oil
  • 0.2 oz jojoba oil
  • 0.4 oz vegetable glycerin

H20:

  • 2.4 oz distilled water

Extra stuff:

  • 6 drops of vitamin E oil
  • 6 drops of grapefruit seed extract (GSE)
  • Essential oils for fragrance (11 drops benzoin, 3 drops sweet orange, 1 drop of patchouli)

Directions:

  1. Sterilize all lotion making equipment (spoons, glass cups/jars, lids, etc) before hand. This just means cleaning them thoroughly and then boiling them in hot water and letting them dry.
  2. Measure out the solids in a glass pyrex cup and heat until liquified. I used a double boiler which is just fancy talk for immersing the cup in a pot of water on the stove at low heat. Microwaving the solids is fine too.
  3. Measure out the liquid oils in another cup.
  4. Add the liquified solids to the liquid oils.
  5. Add the distilled water and blend everything together using an immersion blender.
  6. Add the extra stuff and blend until everything is well mixed. It should be white, but still pretty liquidy at this point.
  7. Pour into jar and put on lid.
  8. Let set overnight before slathering it on.

I am happy with my first batch.  It has all the stuff I love using like cocoa butter and kukui oil and it smells like a chocolate covered orange. It is indeed very moisturizing and I don’t have to constantly reapply. I can’t wait to experiment more with different amounts of oils and such. It was such an easy and fun process that made me feel sort of like the apothecary from Romeo and Juliet. But instead of making fake-death potions, I was making fun-time lotions.

NOTE: this lotion recipe does not use a preservative, though vitamin E and GSE do help extend the shelf life. I’ve been using this first batch for a good month or so and have not noticed it going rancid or bad and I expect to finish this small batch pretty soon. If making a larger batch that I want to last and stay fresh for longer than a couple of months, I’d look into a mild preservative.

Cozy inside and out

I was looking back at some of my recent posts, and have come to the realization that since the beginning of October, I’ve eaten a lot of carby comfort foods. This trend will most likely continue until I come out of hibernation in, um, like May. N loves to make sure I’m comforted, so he made me the stroganoff from the PPK  last night. It was delicious and made me feel all warm and cozy inside!

Aaand today I received my order of fall flavors from Crazy Rumors. Oooh, yum-yum-yum, these flavors are so warm, comforting and fall-like! I seriously have a problem.

Vitamins, I take them.

I take vitamins as insurance that I’m getting what I need, because yeah, I don’t eat well 100% of the time especially now as my job picks up again. I’m not a picky gal and my only requirements for a multi-vitamin are:

  • it’s vegan
  • it’s not a gigantic horsey-pill
  • I only have to think about it once a day

I finally found the vitamin that lives up to all that. I’m on my second bottle.

The big thing for me is the size of these multi-vits. Other vitamins I’ve taken, though more potent, were so large that I hated having to choke them down and hence I wouldn’t take them as often as I should have.  Sure, these guys are less potent than those of the horsey-pill variety, but I don’t fear choking on them and so I take them every day.